Tuck: NFL Celebration Rules Hurt The Game
I believe the NFL made a mistake when they began cracking down on celebrations a few years back. They eliminated the use of props and team celebrations and took some of the fun out of the sport.
Now after Golden Tate decided to wave like Miss America for the last 30 yards of his touchdown catch on Monday night there is discussion that the league should adopt a college rule that if a celebration or taunt takes place before the TD is scored, that it would take the points off the scoreboard.
For one, they threw a flag for taunting which I am fine with and was well deserved. That is all that is needed. I doubt Golden Tate pulls those silly shenanigans the rest of year. The message was sent not just by the officials, but by his coaches that he can’t do something that selfish and stupid.
Taunting should be penalized. 15-yards is perfectly fine. Nothing more is needed.
Now celebrating? I like that. Most fans do. The touchdown dance is a lost art. We get more it seems like from defensive lineman after sacks, which is kinda lame.
Now, I admit Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens, Joe Horn, and some others may have pushed the limits with some of the things they did. I don’t necessarily need cell phones and sharpies hidden on their person or on the field. That’s a little over the top. But dancing with cheerleaders, or playing with pom-poms, or pretending you are putting for the win at the Masters is pretty funny and entertaining.
Dunking over the goalposts and jumping the stands is about all we get anymore. The worst thing the league did is eliminate team celebrations. It’s a team sport! If the receivers want to choreograph a dance together, then that is something that not only should be allowed, but encouraged! If someone wants to throw a fake grenade (the football) and have the offensive lineman all blow up, then do it! Or a QB wants to throw a strike and have all the bowling pins fall down that is tremendous.
As long as any celebration isn’t delaying the game (it wouldn’t because the play-clock is still going to reset and run) and isn’t actually taunting the opponent, then we should encourage fun times! It’s a sport! People are there to enjoy themselves. Let the players entertain us. We are already happy they scored, why not squeeze out a little more joy with a dance!